Parkland, Fla., gunman pleads guilty to 17 counts of murder

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Photo obtained from NBC News

Nikolas Cruz, Parkland gunman, pleads guilty on Oct. 20.

Nikolas Cruz, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school gunman, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Oct. 21, after over three years following the deadly massacre in February of 2018. Cruz pleads guilty to 17 accounts of murder and 17 accounts of attempted murder. He will face a minimum of life in prison and a maximum of the death penalty.

Cruz was 18 when he legally purchased the AR-15 rifle that he used in the massacre, according to reporting from the New York Times. After understanding how easy it was for Cruz to access the rifle at such a young age, many teens have taken part in March for Our Lives protests to protect others from gun violence and have since made a national statement.

In court, Cruz responded guilty to all accounts and presented an apology to the victims; many victim’s loved ones were present, the Times reported. A jury’s selection is scheduled for Jan. 4. 

Three years later, many still suffer from PTSD and other mental struggles caused by the shooting, which is the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting remains a flashpoint for school violence and gun-control activism